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7 Key Insights on Oklahoma Manufacturing

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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Knowing your market is an indispensable part of discovering and nurturing new sales prospects in manufacturing. For those looking to do business with Oklahoma manufacturers, IndustrySelect’s database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers is a top resource for both developing and researching sales leads in the manufacturing sector. IndustrySelect data is available in a wide selection of geographic areas, including on a state-by-state basis.

Today we’re focusing on Oklahoma’s vibrant manufacturing sector, sharing some fascinating statistics we’ve compiled based on data provided to us by the state’s industrial companies. First, let’s take a look at some key facts on Oklahoma manufacturers.

Oklahoma is currently home to 4,652 manufacturers employing 196,393 workers. According to IndustrySelect data, there are 14,975 executive contacts in Oklahoma’s manufacturing sector, including 2,147 presidents, 1,608 owners and partners; 1,146 vice-presidents and 1,162 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.

Other facts to know about Oklahoma manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers:

• 4.7% of Oklahoma manufacturers have reported sales or employment growth to IndustrySelect in the past year
• 2.1% of Oklahoma manufactures are women-owned
• 0.9% are minority-owned
• 11% are publicly-owned companies

If you’re looking to do business with Oklahoma manufacturers, here are some additional insights on the state’s climate you should know about.

1. Oklahoma Manufacturing Job Losses Have Leveled Out

Oklahoma manufacturers have seen some serious ups and downs over the past few decades. The recession hit the state fairly hard, losing roughly 7% of its industrial jobs according to MNI data.

The fracking boom helped the state recover, with the oil and gas sector leading significant job gains in subsequent years. However, as oil prices dropped precipitously, Oklahoma once again began to lose jobs. MNI recorded a 6.4% drop in the state’s industrial employment between 2014 and 2018. Over the past year, however, there was virtually no change in manufacturing employment for the state.

It could be that the Sooner State may soon turn a corner in terms of hiring in its industrial sector. In many ways the state is a top location for many manufacturers (we’ll explain why later in the post) and existing Oklahoma manufacturers may be looking to add staff in 2020.

2. Oklahoma Manufacturers Are Facing A Serious Skills Gap

While Oklahoma industrial companies may be looking to expand hiring, many are also searching for workers with a particular set of skills – a challenge, given the shortage of skilled labor in the state. According to CNBC’s Best States for Business study, Oklahoma ranks dead last among all 50 states in the Education category and 49th in the U.S. in the Workforce category. These two categories have dragged the state’s overall score down to 43, despite getting high marks for business friendliness and cost-of-living.

Finding skilled workers can be especially challenging in the manufacturing sector, where high-tech and advanced processes demand workers with updated skills sets. This presents a great opportunity for those who specialize in staffing and training to Oklahoma manufacturers.

3. Certain Industries Are Faring (Very) Well in Oklahoma

Although the state did not post a net industrial job gain over the past year, its largest sector by manufacturing employment, industrial machinery, fared well. Employment in industrial machinery grew by 5.4% over the past twelve months. Industrial machinery remains the state’s largest sector by number of jobs, currently employing 34,459. Second-ranked fabricated metals also added jobs over the year, up 1.5%. Currently, that workforce stands at 24,308. Together, these two sectors represent roughly 30% of Oklahoma’s manufacturing workforce.

Those looking to tap into the industrial machinery market or fabricated metals may want to add Oklahoma manufacturers to their list of prospects. Other industries posting gains included paper products; lumber/wood and medical instruments/related products.

Other industries are not faring so well, with primary metals declining by nearly 12%; and printing/publishing losing 7% of its workforce.

4. Manufacturers in Oklahoma May Be Less Vulnerable to Tariffsmanufacturing executives

According to advanced criteria available to IndustrySelect subscribers, 8.1% of Oklahoma import raw materials, while 19% of the state’ manufacturers distribute internationally. This is compared to 11% of U.S. manufacturers currently reporting they import raw materials and 29% reporting international distribution.

Tariffs continue to be a major concern among U.S. manufacturers, yet those who source materials domestically stand a better chance of weathering the storm. 

5. Expect More of a Technology Gap When Dealing With Oklahoma Manufacturers

According to the CNBC rankings, the Sooner State ranks 46th in the nation for technology and innovation suggesting some manufacturers in the state may be reluctant to adopt new technology.

Related: How Marketers Can Navigate the Technology Gap in Manufacturing

Despite these challenges, businesses and salespeople who specialize in software and advanced manufacturing technologies may find some untapped market potential in Oklahoma as more manufacturers begin to adjust to Industry 4.0.

6. Manufacturers in Oklahoma Have Lower Business Costs

On the other hand, the state gets an “A” for cost of living, and a “B-” for its business-friendliness. Many industrial companies are drawn to the state’s low corporate tax rate and abundance of business-related incentives with many existing companies planning expansions.

Those prospecting in Oklahoma may find companies in the state are more willing to pursue new investments than those in higher-cost states.

7. Oklahoma is a Heavy Hitter in the Energy Industry

According to IndustrySelect’s Global Energy Industry Business Database, the Sooner State is home to 3,572 headquarters and main offices in the energy industry, as well as 60 pipeline compressor stations; 9 refineries; 98 gas processing plants; 50 terminals; and 89 power plants. At 7.2% of the U.S. total, this is substantial.

Those looking for sales leads in the energy industry can access these types of leads in Oklahoma and beyond with an IndustrySelect subscription.

Ready to Build a List of Oklahoma Prospects?

Looking to reach out to Oklahoma manufacturers? An IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with Oklahoma’s 5,000 industrial companies and 15,000 executives. Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Try a free demo today!

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